Bhutan Birding & Beyond

March 23 - April 9, 2010

Mountains of Bhutan © Bill Lawless
Mountains of Bhutan © Bill Lawless
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In 2010, Bill Gette led 16 Mass Audubon travelers to beautiful Bhutan and described this trip as an “amazing experience” noting some of his most memorable moments included a visit to the oldest temple in Bhutan, seeing the Black-necked Cranes, and walking through the villages, absorbing the sights and sounds.

In addition to the gorgeous scenery, flora, and festivals, the group saw an incredible variety of birds.

They voted the top ten birds to be:

  1. Himalayan Monal
  2. Rufous-necked Hornbill
  3. Black-necked Crane
  4. Ward’s Trogon
  5. Ibisbill
  6. Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird
  7. Verditer Flycatcher
  8. White-throated Kingfisher
  9. Common Hoopoe
  10. Snow Pigeon

But this tour did more than just enjoy the birds. The group hiked to Tiger’s Nest, a prominent Himalayan Buddhist sacred site and temple complex outside of Paro. While in Paro, the group watched the Paro Festival (an important festival for Tibetan Buddhists) with all of the local people so beautifully dressed.

Other highlights:

  • Visiting local farm houses and enjoying the spicy (!!!) yet delicious Bhutanese cuisine at a restaurant in Thimphu.
  • Seeing all of the incredible stylized artwork on walls, houses, and temples.
  • Witnessing a people still devotedly practicing daily Tibetan Buddhism – seeing prayer flags, chortens, and temples everywhere.

The natural beauty of Bhutan was a special treat; from the valleys to Himalayan peaks, there were so many interesting plants and wildlife.

 The group enjoyed:

  • Great Hornbills flying over the campsite at Tingtibi
  • The high Himalayas with the setting moon
  • A bush full of Laughing Thrushes
  • The Golden Langurs in the tree
  • Finding the Ibisbill in the river just south of Paro
  • Mrs. Gould’s Sunbirds
  • The Red Fox run across the pastures
  • Snow Pigeons in flight
  • Working as a team to try to identify the Leaf Warblers